England’s Herbie Farnworth glad for World Cup delay as he looks ahead to a semi-final

HERBIE FARNWORTH is delighted that the World Cup was postponed for twelve months after he missed a large part of the NRL season through injury.

Farnworth, 22, made his NRL debut with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, but his chances of selection for England were almost certainly enhanced by the year’s delay to the tournament, even though he suffered a frustrating ruptured bicep muscle playing for the Broncos against Canberra Raiders in June. That injury ended his club season and was thought initially to have endangered his World Cup hopes.

Fortunately he recovered in time, and Farnworth has played a key role during the tournament, but he admits that his fitness was a close shave.

“I didn’t think I was finished,” he said. 

“It was always a goal of mine to play in this World Cup. I aimed for the finals but sadly Broncos dropped out of those. 

“It was a good thing that the World Cup got put back a year. With greater experience it was something to aim for and I wasn’t going to miss it for anything.”

England dominated the Kumuls at the DW Stadium and finished 46-6 winners.

“It was a great display,” Farnworth said. 

“The side went really well. The Kumuls pushed Tonga close in the group stages but the boys were just very, very good today.”

The centre was left out against Greece but he appears to be at the forefront of coach Shaun Wane’s selection thoughts.

“I want to play every game but I feel I needed that rest,” he said. 

“I hadn’t played for a long, long time. I’d come back from a bicep injury and hadn’t played for about five months, so it would have been a lot to ask to play four or five games on the trot. 

“So when he thought it was best to rest me it was 100 percent right. But I just want to play every game from here on out.”

Farnworth, speaking straight after England’s success in Wigan, was unconcerned who England will face in the semi-finals.

“Tonga are a very talented side and very, very tough either way (Tonga or Samoa),” he said. 

“For us, our job doesn’t change. We just have to focus on ourselves. We’ll come out firing just like we did today and we’ll just make it a real fast, tough game and us English fellas will back ourselves.

“I just looking forward to playing a World Cup semi-final for England. I think that’s the main thing. Playing in front of all my family and friends and this really unbelievable English crowd.”